Rui Costa has made the first successful break hold for the win, taking the 8th stage of the Tour de France. For Costa, and his Movistar team, the win comes as a pleasent respite from the misfortune that has struck the team this year after the death of Xavier Tondo and the horrible accident of Mauricio Soler.
Costa was involved in a strong four-man break which included Teegay Van Garderen, Christophe Riblon and a Anthony Charteau. Behind them was a hungry Alexandre Vinokourov who was positioned well with teammate Paolo Tiralongo and Sky’s Juan Antonio Flecha. For Vinokourov the potential existed to overcome the 30 second deficit on the yellow jersey and claim it for his first time. However, although Vino closed to within 13 seconds of Costa, the final km proved to be too difficult and Vino was swallowed up by the peloton.
The race favorites were all quite active as Contador tried testing a few legs, and maybe only truly tested his own, Gilbert gave a dig for the win and Cadel Evans looked strong. Robert Gesink surprisingly lost 1’23” and fell out of the top ten and equally surprising Thor Hushovd hang on to yellow for yet another stage preserving his 1 second lead over Evans.
Stage 8 Top Five
1. Rui Costa (Movistar)_______(30)_____4h36’46”
2. Philippe Gilbert (Lotto)______(25)_____+12″
3. Cadel Evans (BMC)________(22)_____+15″
4. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel)_(19)
5. Peter Velits (HTC)_________(17)
Complete Stage results: Le Tour
General Classification Top Three after Stage 8
1. Thor Hushovd (Garmin)_______33h06’28”
2. Cadel Evans (BMC)__________+1″
3. Frank Schleck (Leopard)______+4″
Complete Overall results: Le Tour
Green Jersey (points) Top Three after Stage 8
1. Philippe Gilbert (Lotto)______(187)
2. J.J. Rojas (Movistar)_______(172)
3. Mark Cavendish (HTC)______(153)